No, I have not killed her. Amy was still alive when I last saw her.
When did I last see her? At the River Bank Festival last summer, she said she had to go, she said good bye and disappeared into the crowd for ever. I never saw her again.
When did I first see her? She suddenly appeared out of the crowd at the River Bank Festival three summers ago and bumped into me. I bought her a drink. She decided to live with me.
No, she never said what her name was. I called her Amy, she liked it, I think. Actually I know very little about her.
Jimmie was standing in a court room answering questions. Not that he had many answers. And he was not going to say where he really thought she was, nobody would believe that.
Anyway if Amy is dead, where is the body: no corpse, no murder.
Yes, I have already been investigated for murdering Amy. About a year ago Amy was in deep sleep at home, the police came and took her to the mortuary to cut her up to find out how I had murdered her.
But she woke up, she threw the pathologist to the ground and came home. Apparently that was not allowed – the pathologist, the coroner and the police wanted her back in the mortuary for years. A bus inspector had to tell them: a mistake has been made, there is no corpse, no dead body, no murder, case closed, end of story.
At this point I need the help of my personal computer – it won't take five seconds to start.
Jimmie stuck his right arm in the air and wiggled his fingers. A double-sized Margaret Thatcher with handbag appeared in the court room.
Hello Trace, a question for you. Have I killed Amy.
No! How could you? She was much stronger than you. Even you must have noticed that she had enhanced bodily functions – a continuous-flow blood pump instead of a heart and a gas exchange unit instead of lungs and a servo-assisted spine.
Besides that, Jimmie, remember how she could stare heavily at people and make them weak in the knees. And as you have already said: no corpse, no murder.
So who was she, Trace? Tell us all you know.
Not much, no name. She said that she was a sociologist studying ‘Stupidity in the Early Twenty-First Century’. For some reason she liked you, she gave you me, for example.
I think she was here for a couple of years to study and then she had to return to where and when she came from...
You mean the twenty-third century, Trace? Is she a time traveller?
I don't know, Jimmie.
The room was getting darker and smaller.
One last question, a bit of stupidity, but what's in your handbag?
The computer hologram opened its handbag and shook it out – it was empty.
Jimmie found himself seated at the dining table at home and alone.